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WHY MORE SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Lesley Raymond
Social media junkie, cat lover, travel luster.

Finally! An excuse to nap more… (As if I needed one.)

How often have you heard someone say, “I only sleep 4 hours a night” (or any subsequently ridiculous number) and wear it as a badge of honour? (And if you’re anything like me, how many times have you wanted to smack them?)

For some reason, it’s believed that under-sleeping paves the path to success. But I’m here to tell you that just ain’t so.

We all know that feeling of waking up to a blaring alarm clock after too few hours of sleep. You almost feel sick to your stomach at the thought of facing the day. Then, you get to work after some serious caffeination, and feel fine… for an hour or two. Then you slowly feel yourself coming down, and by 3pm you’re totally useless. You can’t focus on anything except the thought of sleep and are just counting down the minutes till you can leave that hell hole.

That’s no way to get important work done! And it’s certainly not how I would want my employees to show up to work. So, I urge you not to show up to your own business sleep deprived, either.

 

Over the past few years, I’ve read a lot about personal and business development, including some interesting stuff about morning routines. One book that stands out is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod because I was enraged by it. I’ve had a few friends tell me how much they loved it and I’ve had to force myself to bite my tongue. The author claims that getting up earlier and feeling refreshed is simply a mindset that you need to develop. “Okay, brain. You’re going to wake up an hour early tomorrow despite going to bed late, but you’re still going to feel great and be even more productive than normal because you. can. do this!” That’s bullshit. Your body needs sleep regardless of whether you tell it to function well on 5 hours sleep. There are certainly ways you can push through your day with too little sleep, but making a routine of it is whack!

 

I’m so happy to have stumbled upon Arianna Huffington’s book called Thrive where she focuses on the third metric to measure success – wellbeing. In this book, Huffington spends a whole chapter discussing why sleep is so not optional and why we should be putting way more emphasis on it to achieve success in business (and life).

 

 

A great airport read. Took this baby to New Orleans with me in July.

 

In this book, Huffington says, “There’s practically no element of our lives that’s not improved by getting adequate sleep. And there is no element of life that’s not diminished by a lack of sleep.” She even quotes Bill Clinton (a famously chronic under-sleeper) as saying, “Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I’ve made because I was too tired.”

She also shares about a study done on mice in 2013. It showed that sleep actually helps the brain rid itself of crap; while sleeping, the brain washes itself of “harmful waste proteins” that build up. This process may even lead to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. 

Creativity, problem-solving, confidence and the ability to lead all require alertness and focus.

As the CEO of my business, I know I don’t want to be that person falling asleep at their desk by 3pm. I’ve got goals to reach and clients to serve!

One of the reasons I created my own business is because I struggle with fatigue. In my former career, it was such a problem that I used to have to leave the office to take a nap and make up the time later. It was terrible. And I think it was brought on as a result of stress. Now, when I’m working away at my home office and start to feel my mind slip due to fatigue, I allow myself to lie down for twenty minutes. Hell, I let myself sleep for an hour or two if that’s what my body needs.

I know that when I wake up, I’ll be able to come back to my work and give it my all, rather than trudging through and yielding half-assed results in double the amount of time.

Seriously. If it’s been proven that elite athletes perform significantly better by getting more sleep, I want summa dat. Studies have proven that most top athletes are regularly performing at sub-optimal levels. But look out when they’re well rested! When added extra sleep at nighttime and naps during the day, these athletes proved what they’re actually capable of. One basketball team started making 9% more shots at the net.

Imagine what 9% of all shots made is equivalent to in your business. That’s, potentially, a LOT of sales calls, funnels, Facebook ads, blog posts, whatever! Can any of us really afford not to give it a try?

Of course, pledging to sleep more is usually easier said than done.

There are a million things to get done in a day – and they all seem to creep up on you in the evening time. You may have the best intentions but life does get in the way. If you’re lucky enough to control your schedule like I am, you can plan your days accordingly. For example, I know I don’t shine my brightest in the morning. Sometimes, I need to sleep in. So, I don’t schedule meetings until the afternoon.

Huffington recommends setting an alarm to go off at bedtime each night. She says to put that alarm clock in your bedroom so that you’re forced to go there in order to shut it off. Then, part of the struggle is over – you’re in your bedroom, and your bed is calling your name. She also suggests changing your clothes at a specific time of night. By putting on your cozzy unicorn onesie at 9pm every night, you’re signalingng to your brain that it’s time to start slowing down for rest.

When I’m feeling antsy and anxious at night, I use an essential oil blend to help me feel sleepy. If I’m really feeling wide awake, I might also take a natural supplement that has valerian root and melatonin in it. I also find that wearing a sleep mask looks super sexy and helps me shut my brain off. The mask goes on and the brain knows it’s business time.

 

Each of us is more likely to be a professional powerhouse if we’re not asleep at the wheel. Arianna Huffington

 

I’d love to hear your techniques and tricks! Do you have any tips to help get more sleep? Please share them below or message me on my Facebook page!

Now, you don’t need to tell me twice! See ya later. I’m going for a nap.

Have a wonderful day, everyone! And don’t forget to share this post with a friend who could use a nap.